Do Now – Time Box(for Android)

  • Do Now Time Boxed Schedule
    Time Boxed Schedule

Flexible and powerful tool for managing time. Focus and get things done.

  • Timed tasks with optional alarms and notifications
  • Autocomplete remembers previous tasks as well as average duration and actual time spent
  • Plan ahead or make it quicker to enter in repetitive tasks by saving them as routines
  • Complete/pause/start tasks from widget
  • Multiple themes to choose from
  • Sync with Google Tasks & across devices Instructions here
  • Re-order tasks and your timers will adjust
  • Continuous option to have the timer automatically move on to the next task without you having to intervene
  • Auto-repeat mode - completed tasks get re-added to bottom of list (Pro feature)
  • Routine scheduling - set a schedule (can be repetitive) for a routine to get loaded automatically into your planned list (Pro feature)
  • Helpful for those with ADD/ADHD and need help staying focused
Get it on Google Play

Your day and time will be free of stress and that much more productive.

What’s it all about?

This is a tool to help really get things done instead of just planning on getting things done.. It’s the key to getting to that highly sought after ‘hyper-focused’ mindset. Sometimes it’s a struggle to manage your time well and a tool that helps break up your time in blocks - aka the time boxing method - does wonders to help with that struggle. It’s free with no ads - only an option to redeem rewards after completing a task (max 2 a day) which can be turned off in the settings page so you can stay focused and feel good about getting things done. It has been recently updated to use Android’s new Material Design and the ability to sync with Google Tasks.

The app attempts to simplify and take a different direction than heavy duty organizing apps. The main purpose of this app is to help you get things done by focusing on the now. It’s basically split into two parts: your ‘Planned’ items and your ‘Unplanned’ items. Since syncing with Google Tasks is possible, this app can be used along with another app that focuses on long term tasks and goals as long as that app also syncs with Google Tasks.

Okay, ready to get things done?

The unplanned tasks are so you can do a brain dump - just add in whatever tasks you think you need to get done at some point - so it works just the same as any simple todo list app. This is also where your synced Google Tasks will end up if they are not due today. You can move the tasks to the planned list at any time. This lets you focus and not have to constantly try to remember what you need to work - just write them down and forget about them. Focus only on what you want to get done right now. There is even a shortcut button (coffee cup icon) to add breaks and the duration is automatically set to some pre-configured value in the settings page.

The planned list is for things you need to get done now. Today. The idea here to help focus on what you’re doing at the time and to better manage your time. You add tasks like you normally do but you also have access to a timer. If you’ve heard of the Pomodoro technique or any other technique that focuses on setting a time to complete a task then this should be familiar. It’s less rigid than Pomodoro since you determine how long you want to work on a task. It’s also a good idea to add breaks in-between your tasks.

When you create a task, you estimate how long it should it take you. This is used when you start the timer. The top task is set to be the active task when the timer starts and you can see how much time you have left based on the duration you selected for the task and at what time each task will be completed. You can always re-arrange the tasks after starting the timer and if the top task changes then the previously top/active one is paused and the new top/active one is started. The actual time spent is recorded when the paused task becomes active again so you don’t lose progress. An alarm will sound (configurable in the settings page) when the current active task should be completed. You can choose to snooze(adding some minutes configured in the settings page and the alarm will play again when the task should be completed), ignore, or complete the task. When you complete the active task, the next one starts. A mix of simplicity and effectiveness is the goal.

Most actions like snoozing(adding some minutes configured in the settings page to the current active task), pausing, resuming/stopping(resetting all time recorded) actions are available from the app screen, the notification tray and the widget. You can also set a reminder alarm of when you’d like to start the timer. This will bring up the app and an alarm will play (configurable in the settings page) to remind you to start. You can ignore, snooze(the alarm will play again after some minutes configured in the settings page), or start the timer. This reminder action is only visible when your timer is stopped and not when it is running or paused.

If auto-repeat mode is enabled and you complete a task, a copy of that task will be created and added to the bottom of the list (the sorting order of the list is changed to ‘Manually (insert new tasks on bottom)’. This is useful for when you have to repeat some set of tasks over and over until you feel like stopping. Or if you break up a task in several time chunks, i.e you want to work on Project X for a while but in 30 minute intervals so you can add: “work on project X” for 30 minutes and a break for 5 minutes with auto-repeat on.

The time spent and the duration planned for each task are saved to give a running tally in the stats tab. The average duration is automatically used when you enter a task you’ve done before.

Build Routines for extra efficiency

A routine is simply a saved list of tasks. This is useful if you have a group of tasks that you usually do together or if you simply want to plan ahead. For example you can have a morning routine: Breakfast, shower, coffee, walk the dog. Or you know that later on today or next week you have to do some tasks and will want to start right away so plan ahead and a create a routine with those tasks already entered. That way when the time comes, you don’t waste time typing in each task and can start right away. You can also schedule your routines so they automatically get added to your Planned list at a specific time and on custom repeat intervals. See the help section in the app for more details.

Sync with or any other app that can sync with Google Tasks

From the settings page, the navigation drawer, or by going straight to your phone’s Account settings you can enable syncing for each of the Google accounts on your phone. Just enable ‘Sync Do Now Tasks’ in the sync settings of the account you want. Tasks are synced every X minutes but you can also force an instant syncing check from the options menu.

You can then choose which account's tasks to display in the navigation drawer or the settings page. Only the tasks associated with that account will be displayed and new tasks created will be set to be synced with the account you chose. You can change the account to use at any time. Your Routines are not currently synced and will be visible from any account chosen.

Why does it work?

Setting time constraints helps focus. When you have a set amount of time to do something, you don’t waste that time doing something else.

You know you get to take a breaks and not feel guilty about it - just focus on what you’re doing now. These breaks act like a reward; you start to look forward to them.

We’ve all heard of how some of the best ideas come to you in the shower..or doing anything other than what you’re actually working on. This way to work has you doing that a lot more often. Once you get in the groove, it just feels like a game where you anticipate the rewards you give yourself for staying focused and getting things done.

Don’t forget the notifications and widget

They show you everything you need to know:
• What am I supposed to be doing right now?
• How much time do I have left to do it?

They both have a running timer so you can see how much is left.

 

3 comments

  1. Hello,

    I like the possibility to be able to see in real time at what time each task will probably be completed (while time tracking is running).

    I would also like csv import/export and the possibility to modify the completion date : )

    Greetings

    Marco

    1. Hi Marco,

      Thanks for the feedback. I’ll work on an export option. What do you mean by modifying the completion date though? In this app there’s no concept of completion date, just duration of how long a task should take. Do you mean after you complete it, to modify when it was actually done?

      Thanks again!

      1. Hi Islam Morsi,

        thank you for the reply.

        Yes, sometimes I did not run Do Now while working on tasks and completing tasks. But e.g. on the next day I want to see how much time I was working on (productive) tasks on previous days. So I enter the ‘statistic’ section. In order to see the real time spent on tasks, it is necessary to add and modify tasks in the ‘deleted/completed” section. Because if I set a task to ‘completed’ now, Do Now considers the current date as completion date.

        However, I use another time tracking app meanwhile. But Do Now is still my favourite for getting notified at specific time intervals (the other time racking app is lacking such a feature – or I couldn’t find it yet:).

        Greetings

        Marco

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